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It is so hard to be gracious about holiday gifts when trying to banish clutter! - Page 2

post #21 of 116
I just got the gifts from my inlaws last night for the girls. And since I could tell by the packaging it wasn't anywhere near what I had told them was on the acceptable list, i peaked. Yes, and I am ashamed to say that both of the girls saw me But the first thing which wasn't wrapped was two toy lanterns that have candy attached and the first thing that my oldest said was "We can't eat that candy can we?" We feingold, they, inlaws, know this, and no they can't eat the candy: And then it looks like they both got hats and scarfs. That would be fine, I know it says I am in the bitter cold, but that is just compared to what I am used to. My girls have adjusted to our weather, i just haven't They don't wear hats and scarfs, they are wearing a light jacket and that is all. AND I bought them two pairs of hats and scarfs, one inside and one for the car when we got here. THEY HAVE NO NEED for more!!!! And I mentioned something to them, a really cute sweet purse that folds out with a fairy. http://www.motherhues.com/id73.htm that. I wanted something they could bring to my midwife apt and I have braces and they come to those apts with me also. Well, they got my older dd a art desk thingie, which again would be fine if she didn't already have a full desk, they have seen this desk, and the got my youngest a magnetic alphabet/numbers desk thingie. I really think they were trying to get something that they could bring, but the thing with the purse small, lightweight, not many pieces, and THEY carry it. There is no way they could carry either of these things. And we are trying to get rid of all plastic cheap toys. The magnetic thing says 99 pieces!!! I am sorry, but how does anyone think that 99 pieces is a good thing? I am sure it probably says something on there about not for under 3, my dd is 2, and we are having a baby. You don't get choking hazards for kids with babies coming. If they ask me, or tell me that they got those to take to the apts, i am flat out saying that they are too big and too heavy for the girls to carry. It is a rule that they can bring what they want as long as they can carry it. I am not changing it because of these gifts. Sorry, i am very angry and I couldn't vent to my dh last night, he had to work, so ya'll get it Sorry again. I just don't understand why they couldn't see the list and say, oh, they want this this and this and just get it. My husband actually just told his mom, like a month ago, that I was decluttering and had taken like 4 boxes to goodwill and 2 bags of garbage out. And that it included a lot of the girls toys that they don't play with. I don't understand people, I really don't.
post #22 of 116
VnJW - My mom is awful about getting more of what my DD already has too. She has decided to get her another doll for christmas - my daughter has a bunch of various sizes, but mom's philosophy is she loves those so why not another just like them! I talked her into at least getting another bitty baby (a twin with hair, she has a regular one) rather than the other random doll, so at least DD's doll clothes and all the accessories she bought her before would fit on both.
post #23 of 116
I feel for you Amy. While I enjoy giving gifts and receiving them, I am also in a declutter phase in my life. Can you just keep the item for a while and get rid if it later? I also hate when people spend hard earned money on things that I just can't use. I feel bad,but I know there's someone out there that can use it and find solace in that.
post #24 of 116
OMG we are going through this now. I am spending so much time & effort banishing crap from the house, trying to get a little feng shui balance, & people won't take the hints about consumables, or services.

Karate lessons! zoo passes! movie tickets! ANYthing but more stuffed animals & plastic crap I have to toss or donate! The fil just got the kids a train set- their FOURTH crappy plastic train set- the other three are in bins in the attic. (All of it together might've afforded one good wooden one .)

Can we list some classic stuff?

A purselamp. (Is it a purse that looks like a lamp, or a lamp that looks like a purse?)

A hot cocoa maker; a big appliance just for making foamy hot cocoa from a mix!

Please, add in hopes we can smile graciously without screaming.
post #25 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixenmama View Post
I just came back from Sears (for vacuum bags) and Marshall's (unnecessary stop) and boy oh boy, is it wicked out there. Especially the cashiers. Oy oi oi.
I hear you. You hear a lot from customer service folks about rude customers this time of year, but my God, I had some prizes behind the register last night. I BEG your pardon for troubling you AT YOUR JOB, sir. Don't take it out on me.
post #26 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomlynn View Post
MIL always wants to buy me clothes. I don't need any clothes I already have way too many clothes. Plus I haven't really evened out from my pregnancy so I'm kinda off on sizes right now (will this mushy belly every go away???). DH told her at least four times not to get me clothes. I got two nightgowns (frumpy ones too) and two sweatshirts.
Yeah, stepdm ALWAYS gets me frumpy old lady clothes I hate. Funny how it's always for stores that aren't nearby to prevent exchange. Years of, "Oh, I'm hard to fit" hints just haven't taken.

This thread has me on a roll (I had to look all over for gift card stuff last night, & even the GIFT CARDS are always for places like The Disney Store or Kaybees.)
post #27 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanibell View Post
I feel for you Amy. While I enjoy giving gifts and receiving them, I am also in a declutter phase in my life. Can you just keep the item for a while and get rid if it later? I also hate when people spend hard earned money on things that I just can't use. I feel bad,but I know there's someone out there that can use it and find solace in that.
See thats my issue- do I keep them for a while and get rid of later but how later?? When I first decluttered several years ago, 90% of what went out the door was given to us some way. Which leads me to believe, how much stuff did I spend my hard earned money on to be stuffed somewhere or held on to for a while?
I have the same feeling, I hate people spending money on stuff that is wasted- its basically like taking money and throwing it in the garbage so I opt out as much as possible in the gift exchange.

So, who would use the 4 scented candles and the 2 winter mugs??
DH put the coffee and cocoa at work.
post #28 of 116
Oh, man, I feel all you guys about this.

An example: Last year when we moved up here, we bought DS a new bed. The ILs knew this, because the headboard was FIL's when he was a lad, and we got it out of their barn. The headboard (and new mattress and box spring) are a a full. With me?

Well, when the ILs came up for Xmas last year, they, of course, brought tons of stuff for DS, including bedding for his new bed. It was all SpongeBob. The comforter was a full size, but the sheets were twin.

When I pointed this out to MIL (I tried to be tactful- I wanted to know where she got them so I could exchange them for the right size) she said, "Yeah, I know, but they didn't have SpongeBob sheets in full."

So could you maybe have gotten him blue sheets instead!?! He only had one set of sheets at the time, so an extra (useable) set would have been nice.

We do not have a twin bed anywhere in our house. At all. They know this.

When ILs were leaving, DH said to his mom, "Maybe you should take these home and we can use them on Dane's bed at the cabin."

MIL looked at DH funny and said, "But I got those for Dane."
Can you please explain to me how sheets that you cannot use are gift?

So guess what's on eBay right now? SpongeBob sheets. NIP!
post #29 of 116
The frumpy clothes reminds me of when I was about 39 weeks pregnt with dd1 (never made it that long w dd2). It was around mothers day and my MIL handed me a plastic bag. I always repeat always get nervous when she is holding one of those plastic bags from the grocery store and saying- I have something for you.....

It was this humungous ugly t shirt with a illustration saying M O M in the iron on. I looked at her like WTF?? She said- its perfect to wear home from the hospital because you are so big. DH said, yes she is with the baby in there but if we are leaving the hospital, the baby wont be in there!
I am not a t shirt kind of woman to be diplomatic. Anything w a weird iron on and huge would not be something that I would wear.

A few weeks before that her sister (dh's aunt) gave me at my shower a baseball sort of cap with all these sayings of Mom written all over it. She was pushing my SIL and sister to have me open it first. she kept saying to my SIL "its a hat its a hat, she needs to open it first!" My SIL was like- why? She didnt realize, she wanted me to wear the flippen hat while I opened up my gifts!! SIL told me later, she knew that there was no way I was going to wear something like that!

So the hat and ugly tee went out the door asap...
post #30 of 116
Oh, boy! When I left work today, I had a COPY PAPER BOX just FULL: of crappy stuff from coworkers. The ONLY things I kept were the $15 Starbucks gift card and the $25 Visa gift card (these were from my supervisor & dept. head). Oh, I did keep the $200 Christmas bonus, too! (It was prorated to that amount after only being there since 11/7!).

It was stupid Christmas decorations, some stand up things, ornaments and I don't have a tree (place too small) and too ugly anyhow. Several tea-light candle and holder sets. I try to ONLY burn pure beeswax.

When I got home from work, I took the box, contents and all and dumped it into the trashcans in the alley! I feel so light now!
post #31 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
When I got home from work, I took the box, contents and all and dumped it into the trashcans in the alley! I feel so light now!


Congratulations. That's an empowering act. Too bad there wasn't a shelter or something where you could of dropped the stuff off. Where I live you can leave things that still have use in the near the trash and interested parties gather them regularly. It might sound creepy but it's actually pretty convenient!
post #32 of 116
i haven't read this whole thread so i'm probably being redundant but i completely dread the gift part of the holidays....especially since i have a child whose b-day is 12/21. argh! i am a chronic declutterer but the house keeps piling up.

what i don't understand is how family & friends continue to buy us this stuff when they're well aware of our lifestyle. it drives me batty when my mom says, "you're going to flip when you see what we got you girls" (meaning it's completely plastic & noisy with lots of parts & requires a million batteries). why do they do this? and my MIL....she doesn't even need a holiday to bring "gifts." each time she comes (about once a month) she has a crate of stuff that she cleaned out of her basement & a few toys for the girls. i've actually asked her - more than once - to stop bringing things to us because we really don't need it & i'm trying to simplify. but this woman couldn't care less what i say!?

i, too, have gotten over the guilt of passing things along. once they are "mine" i feel free to do with them what i wish & the goodwill/freecycle has gotten some good business from me!

when it comes to gifts for the girls, i usually let them enjoy the toy for a few weeks but eventually they lose interest in the no-brainer toys so i just box them up & ship them out.
post #33 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by doulalove View Post
i haven't read this whole thread so i'm probably being redundant but i completely dread the gift part of the holidays....especially since i have a child whose b-day is 12/21. argh!
.
my bday is Sunday so I can totally relate!! But this year is a good year, I am celebrating turning 30 (again )
post #34 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vixenmama View Post


Congratulations. That's an empowering act. Too bad there wasn't a shelter or something where you could of dropped the stuff off. Where I live you can leave things that still have use in the near the trash and interested parties gather them regularly. It might sound creepy but it's actually pretty convenient!
Some people donate, I pitch. Literally. Stuff would have been ruined in the pouring rain tonight if left out. If someone rummages in the trash cans (they probably do), I say they can have it. I have no inclination to do anything else. I'll give to friends if they can use it, otherwise, buh bye!
post #35 of 116

TO scbegonias

scbegonias , can you use the pretty purple bowl as a fruit bowl? It sounds really pretty and might be a really nice thing on the counter or table with fruit in it. I use a ceramic fruit bowl that I love, got it as a wedding present. For a while I thought my boys would be too rough with it and so i used a wooden one instead but then I decided life was for liviing and now we use the pretty ceramic one. If it gets broken then I got some good use out of it : )

Sheila
post #36 of 116
I just got a metal PAPER napkin holder with ROOSTERS on it...need I say more:
post #37 of 116
lol with Roosters and not cows hmmm? Today my dh and I went and got gift certificates for his friends ( all artists) I thought it was a good purchase b/c this way they can get what they want and we all know art supplies arent cheap. I'm making purses for my friends as well as earrings.It helps that my dear friend works at a bead store though. I'm also making fudge which I had better start making instead of spending time on MDC. We got a gift basket from a client and most of the stuff we won't use. Guess what? I'm taking some of it to a holiday party and the rest I will give out to neighbors. Im not cheap I'm frugal
post #38 of 116
chanibell-If I get something over the weekend with a cow on it I've finding out your address and mailing it to you!!!
post #39 of 116

I propose some new icons....

Last night as I was carrying in a mother-load of groceries
I was thinking what kind of unwanted stuff might be coming
down the pike in the next few days. So, I propose new icons
depicting...
  • Bringing crap into the home
  • Flinging crap out of the home
  • Opening a crappy gift


post #40 of 116
Last night when dh got home from work I showed him the rooster napkin holder...he says I think its kinda neat. WTF??? Then I figured it out. Its because HIS mother gave it to me. If my mom did he'd be like "OH"
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